Friday, January 04, 2008

Please Help Me Save the Earth!

Little man had a longish nap today so I actually got to see most of Oprah. What a treat! I was thrilled to see that the subject today was one near and dear to my heart. Easy changes to make to help save the Earth. So...I was inspired to write out a list of ways in which my family and I live "green". Honestly, we are kind of lazy by nature so all of these things are super easy and take very little effort. Feel free to offer any further ideas you use or have heard of!

Ideas we use to live a lazy "green" life...
1. We recycle! This is the most time consuming but so worth it! We are fortunate enough, in our community, to have a recycling center. They have made recycling super simple. All we need to do is separate our recyclables into 3 categories. The 1st is paper, which includes: white, colored, shiny magazine, used, thin cardboard(cereal box type) and JUNK MAIL!!! The 2nd is corrugated cardboard, which is just boxes. The 3rd and biggest category is glass, metal and plastic 1-7. All we do for this one is clean out the cans, jars, and bottles and peel off any labels. I really can not complain about any of this. It is a free service and I just need to drop it off and place it in the correct giant bins.

2. Laundry! To live "green" here we wash only in cold water, dry with air only, and clean out our lint trap after every load. Also, but should be obvious, we only wash a full load!

3. Grocery Shopping bags. I try to bring my own canvas bags when I go shopping. I am not perfect with this one at all! I need to really make more of an effort here. Right now I only do it at the stores where you bag your own groceries.

4. Have Little Man refill and reuse cups all day long. You know kids, he would drink from a cup and throw it in the sink every hour. So we have him place the cups back in the fridge and I refill them through out the day.

5. We buy from Thrift stores and donate our unwanted items to thrift stores. I have found many treasures this way. You know the saying...One person's trash is anther's treasure. As an example, I recently picked up a cute little glass juicer from my fave thrift store for about $.75. Also a great place to buy books and toys!

6. Washing dishes. I have stopped running water to rinse dishes. I fill one side up with warm soapy and the other up with clear warm water. It really works well and saves so much water! Also, if I am feeling up to it, I invite Josh to help and he rinses the dishes and places the in the strainer. But warning, this takes much patience. And make sure you save knives and breakables for when they get tired of helping!

Not a bad list! But I would really like to add a few more for this new year!

so my "green" goals for 2008 are...
1. Change to compact florescent lightbulbs (CFLs). (*Just bought these at Costco today! So surprised at how much cheaper than I expected. I had heard they were about $5 a bulb, not so, only $12 for 5 that replace 100 watt bulbs.)
*edited
2. Install Foam Outlet Gaskets See this website for info. http://www.energyfederation.org/consumer/default.php/cPath/21_1272_63
3. Start using cloth napkins for everyday meals.

Please check out http://www.oprah.com/ for many more ideas!

Hope you get inspired to help! It is so worth it to save this beautiful planet for our children and theirs!

Shannon

2 comments:

jojoebi said...

Hi,
I use the book "clean house, clean planet" by Karen Logan to make almost all my cleaners most are based on white vinegar, baking soda, soda water...cheap and chemical free which has got to better for the environment. It also means I can let my toddler help out with cleaning instead of worrying about in inhaling heaven knows what. Also, you can fill a 250ml PET bottle with water and put it in the water tank of your toilet, this will reduce the amount of water used when you flush.

Shannon said...

Thanks Jo,
That is one area I have not worked on at all! I still use all the chemically cleaners! Great tip!